Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, multiplying thirty, sixty or even one hundred times.
I’ve read this passage and heard sermons preached about it so many times I’ve lost count. Recently I discovered a key missing ingredient – rain. How did the seeds sprout and produce without water? Does this bit of information help us with our walk with God? What can we learn here?
First, the man in the parable is a farmer. I’ve grown vegetables in the past, but that didn’t make me a farmer. Farmers depend on the harvest for their livelihood. Fully invested in their endeavor, a farmer doesn’t try planting just to see if it will work. He’s all in and committed for the long haul.
Farmers today have equipment that precisely plants seeds. In Jesus’ day the broadcast method was used. Seeds were scattered, a handful at a time, as the farmer walked his field. The seeds landed in all types of places, not just the prepared ground. How does this apply to us and what does the absence of rain have to do with it?
Jesus said the seeds represented God’s word. The farmer is someone who completely relies on God for his needs. Totally committed, he plants God’s word in all types of situations. He’s not trying God’s word as an experiment; he’s convinced it will work.
The soil is the farmer’s life, his heart. It’s the composite of experiences that’s made him who he is. Some parts are rich and ready to produce. Others are hard, stony and need more cultivation. In the natural, a lack rain reduces or destroys the harvest. Irrigation systems help, but nothing beats rain.
Jesus never mentioned rain in this parable. It’s possible the farmer experienced drought conditions. Nevertheless, all wasn’t lost. Some seeds took root and produced thirty, sixty and even one hundred fold results. Sound impossible? Genesis 26:12 tells us that Isaac planted during a famine and reaped a harvest of hundred fold.
Christians all face tough times. If we take the posture of the farmer in the Mark’s parable and sow God’s word, those seeds can produce a bountiful return even in times of difficulty. Supernaturally a harvest can spring forth under impossible conditions. If you’re in a dry spell, sow God’s word as if your life depends on it, because it does. Like Isaac you’ll reap unbelievable results. Don’t quit!